The Mean World Syndrome

Mean World Syndrome is a phenomenon where the violence-related content of mass media convinces viewers that the world is more dangerous than it actually is, and prompts a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat. Mean World Syndrome is one of the main conclusions of cultivation theory. The term “Mean World Syndrome” was coined by George Gerbner, a pioneer researcher on the effects of television on society, when he noted that people who watched a lot of TV tended to think of the world as an unforgiving and scary place. (Source

This is an excellent documentary about the the delusions foisted upon an unsuspecting public by that ol’ idiot box (TV) in particular. I highly recommend that you tak the time to watch it – and let your children see it as well. If time is an issue ( it is over 50 minutes long), go to the 28 minute mark & pick it up from there (Full version here).  George Gerbner’s analysis is on point. I especially liked the following quote he made which underpins the dehumanization and demonization of whole communities:

Fearful people are more dependent, more easily manipulated and controlled, more susceptible to deceptively simple, strong, tough measures and hard-line postures. … They may accept and even welcome repression if it promises to relieve their insecurities.

It is easy to see how social control is achieved….

Absorb & reflect.



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